Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Transgender Votes? Some Yes, Some No

Voting for transgender people varies depending where you are in the world.  In America, new voter ID laws could prevent more than 25,000 transgender citizens from voting, while in India,Transsexual persons can now enroll as voters in a hassle-free manner, thanks to the modified guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India.

In the U.S.A. -- land of the free, home of the brave -- "Transgender people are already imagined to be committing gender fraud. Now these new voter ID laws could set us up to be accused of voter fraud," explains Mara Keisling, NCTE Executive Director. "Most transgender people have never had problems voting before but this year is different. When a transgender person shows up to a polling place with a name or appearance that isn't perceived to match their voter registration records or their photo ID, they could be turned away."

New voter ID laws could prevent more than 25,000 transgender citizens from voting, according to the Williams Institute at UCLA. The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) has released “Voting While Trans” resources in order to educate trans voters on what they can do to successfully cast their ballots, particularly during what advocate Laverne Cox says is “a critical election season.”

In India however, "the Election Commission of India has for the first time "recognised" transsexuals and modified the Form of Oath or Affirmation for the applicants by incorporating the words "chela" (disciple) and "guru" (teacher) at relevant places "in order to facilitate registration of transsexuals in the electoral rolls". - Daily Bhaskar.com

In the past, where proof of age and proof of residence are required to be submitted, many transsexuals who were disowned by parents could not meet that requirement.  With the new law, they can, through their guru or teachers.  

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